The text was originally published in Russian
Were there diplomacy championships in the world, our country would invariably be among prize winners. For despite the hardships of the last two decades and resource shortages, Russian foreign policy remains successful in achieving its strategic objectives.
It is not only about the present generation of Russian diplomats being especially different from their predecessors – there is quite a number of bright figures, though. Essentially, the modern Russian diplomacy is the fruit of experience of conflicts, negotiations and transitions between them, gained in the last several centuries. This experience, diverse as it is, is spread in the Russian multicomponent and complex society, but its blob can be found in the center of decision-making – in the Foreign Ministry, the Old Square, where the President Administration is situated, and in the Kremlin. As a rule, whoever it is in these offices, the general Russian strategy stays unchanged.
It has been three hundred years since the late 17th century, when Russia was shaped in its present borders (excluding the North Caucasus and Khabarovsk krai in the Far East). During this time, the Russian elites have formed an understanding of the country’s territorial depth and its historic place of the Eurasian dynamic kernel and a stabilizer.
Waning of the Ukrainian crisis may recreate conditions favourable for the meeting between the Russian and Georgian leaders. However, normalization in relations of the two countries has distinctly set limits, for the global strategy of the Georgian leadership remains unchanged.
This appointment has almost no implications for the US military strategy like all the previous appointments in the last 20 years. Irrespective of who holds the position of the Defence Secretary, the US remains a naval power, whose continental territories will remain immune to opponents at least till 2050.
My observations in Washington prove that this is not an immediate objective for the US yet. However, it does not mean, that the Americans will refrain from an opportunity to speed up the fall of the Russian regime if the internal problems cause a social upheaval. Having met with the White House, National Security Council and Pentagon officials, as well as experts on Russia in Washington, I may conclude that the US has certain difficulties formulating a single consistent policy towards Moscow and is, therefore, incapable of conspiring against it.
Although coping with sanctions, plummeting oil prices and a devalued ruble is challenging, it is paramount that Russian leaders continue to spend time and energy to address the economy’s structural problems and give it a new focus. That is the path to creating an economy that is stronger, more efficient and more flexible in the years to come.